It all Began
At The Tender Age Of 4…
…when I was given a small toy guitar as a present. Without any idea how to play, I would accompany my twin sister while she sang. We performed in carnivals, children’s festivals, stadiums, on television programs, and in children’s competitions. For me, performing before such large crowds was one of the most beautiful experiences ever, and I discovered that when it came to music, I was not shy at all!
As a child I studied piano at Raúl Gómez García School of Arts in Holguín, my hometown, and found that I loved music more with each day that passed. At 15 I worked up the courage to accompany a ballet class for the first time ever, and found it inspired me like never before. There began my passion for classical ballet. The lack of books and materials meant that improvisation was a required skill, one I quickly developed, and I eventually accompanied prominent ballet companies such as the Alicia Alonso Ballet Company. I also performed and participated in many different ballet events and international competitions.
At the age of 20 I had to leave my beloved Cuba, and I came to the U.S. to start a new life. These were hard times, times when I often doubted my purpose here, or felt that all my years of studies and experience were lost, especially in this country of seemingly unlimited opportunities. Devoting myself to my music seemed impossible. Thankfully, within a few years I was able to start playing music once again and everything changed... I eventually found work as a ballet accompanist. It wasn’t all lost!
My professional career in the U.S. has been wonderful. My very first accompanist job was with ballet legend Martha Mahr, and I’m grateful that in those six years I met so many people in the ballet world I’ve subsequently worked with and who today are very special to me. After Martha’s passing I began working at the New World School of the Arts, which gave me an opportunity to accompany modern and contemporary dance classes, and thus the chance to expand my musical creativity and enjoy even more that spectacular combination of music and movement.
The past 10 years have been filled with joys and challenges, playing for a number of amazing schools, teachers, and dancers with different methods and approaches to dance and accompaniment… an incredible year at the Boston Ballet… master classes for renowned institutions such as the Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, the American Ballet Theatre, and the Julliard School… my own online ballet accompaniment course through La Sociedad Liszt-Kodaly in Spain… nine ballet class CDs that sell worldwide… and of course my current job at the Arts Ballet Theatre with the amazing Vladimir Issaev who has been such an inspiring Grand Maestro… there is so much more to this very beautiful and fulfilling journey I’m on, I can’t wait to see where else it leads me, and I can’t wait to share it with you!
Notes From A Friend & Fellow Musician
Aly Tejas is much more than a gifted piano accompanist. She is a testament to the power of music, the kind of passion that has driven her to overcome many obstacles in order to achieve her dream of making music that lifts the spirit, particularly that of dancers. Her musicality is deeply rooted in her traditional Cuban music, music that is known for being not only rhythmically intricate but also melodically contagious. And this can be heard and felt in Aly’s playing.
As a piano accompanist, Aly has worked in many ballet and dance schools, the world renowned Miami City Ballet and the Boston Ballet just to name a few. She is currently accompanist at the Vladmir Issaev School of Classical Ballet, recognized as the best Russian ballet school in South Florida. For those of you who don’t know what’s involved in accompanying ballet classes, it is important to understand that there is a relationship between pianist and dancer that should be both technical and musical. The grace of the notes played helps the dancer express, through his movements, the beauty of classical ballet. The pianist must know the rhythm and style of each exercise in order to help the class accomplish its goals. Add to all that the intent to produce beautiful music both melodically and harmonically so as to inspire the dancers… Aly makes it look easy, but we know better. Listen to her recordings, and enjoy this talented pianist’s sweeping melodies and emotional performance.
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